Negligent security is a form of premises liability. Owners of public and private property are generally liable for accidents or intentional wrongs that occur on their property – if the owner knew or should have known of the dangers and failed to take corrective steps. Premises liability covers slips and falls, dog bites, elevator accidents, and failure to protect customers and visitors from physical harm.
In a negligent security claim, visitors who are injured as a result of criminal activity can make a claim for damages from the property owner/operator, as well as against the perpetrator. These events can occur at an apartment complex, a shopping mall, a restaurant, a professional office, a ballpark, or even at a hospital. The more common claims stem from:
- Shootings, stabbings, or assaults – at any venue, a parking lot, or on public transportation
- Sexual assaults in apartments and condominiums
- Assaults near any place with money such as a bank, an ATM machine, or a cash register
- Fights or horseplay at a retail store, shopping mall, or any location.
In the worst premises liability cases, there are mass shootings at cinemas, schools, and other locations where there are a lot of people gathered.
Why are property owners liable?
Property owners are generally held liable on the basis of actual knowledge – they knew that attacks were likely. They may also be liable on the basis of constructive knowledge – they should have reasonably known that attacks were likely. In short property owners have an obligation to keep their premises safe, and to take corrective measures if it is not. Examples of those corrective measures include:
- Keeping stairwells, parking lots, and other areas well lit
- Installing working locks on doors (when applicable) and a security system which allows in-house and/or third-party monitoring, especially where cash is being handled
- Hiring security companies and/or guards
- Training the staff to anticipate and respond to dangerous situations
- Installing fences and using other measures to control and limit access to the property
- Running background checks on employees
- Requiring check-ins for visitors
Proving negligent or inadequate security often depends on extensive investigation and discovery. Experienced premises liability lawyers work aggressively to interview all relevant witnesses, examine what previous complaints against the property owner have been filed, what knowledge of prior lapses in security occurred at the property, and what steps should have reasonably been taken to prevent the attacks.
The experienced Manchester injury lawyers at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, fight to get victims of negligent security compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. We work with your doctors to fully understand your long-term medical needs. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success in trial court and in negotiating just settlements. To speak with an experienced negligent security lawyer, call us at 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. We serve Hartford, Manchester, and the surrounding areas